Joined on November 24, 2007
Last Post on December 12, 2013
@ August 3, 2010 5:02 PM in steam returnsmy guess that some traps have failed open, and are allowing some steam into the returns. the good traps are closing when steam arrives, and therefore the return is cold. probably, new trap insides are available for these, which would make it an easier repair job.--nbc
@ August 1, 2010 7:04 PM in steam or hot watermaybe a modulating burner would correct the oversize. controlled by pressure, it could start out at "x"[btu], and when the pressure gets to 3 oz, then drop down to .75 "x"?
it would probably depend on just how over-sized the boiler is.--nbc
@ July 31, 2010 12:14 AM in Gas Side Wall Power Ventersi concur with steamhead, that no pump should be needed on a steam boiler, except in situations where there are separated buildings fed from one main boiler. in those cases, in spite of einstein's, and newton's best efforts; there can be a lag in getting the condensate back from a distance, without mechanical help.
also make sure that you are not lured into some sort of additive for the boiler--only pure fresh, unsoftened water should pass its lips.
i suggest you get a copy from the shop here of "the lost art of steam heating" [maybe one for your installer-too]. gravity return is explained better than i could do with my hunt and peck typing.--nbc
@ July 29, 2010 12:32 AM in Steam boiler sizingif only those [potential] clients of yours could have been directed here for information, and maybe a copy of "the lost art of steam heating".
most likely, the winning bidder will not make any provision for air removal, and so the gas company will be paid to squeeeze the air out for each firing. however, since the boiler will run 24/7 due to mis-sizing, maybe that won't be the major problem!--nbc
@ July 26, 2010 11:48 PM in Insulation on return lines.don't forget the other tuning-up items which will follow the dead men's original plans:
1. keep your pressure low, with a vaporstat [0-16 OZ.], and install a good low pressure gauge, [gaugestore.com, 0-15 OZ.].
2. make sure that your main line venting is up to the job. my 6 returns [on 1,050,000 btu] have 4-5 gorton #2's each, and all the air is out by the time my gauge shows 2 OZ!
3. let nothing pass the lips of your boiler, except for pure water [have it checked]. keep all cleaning products, water-softener salt, paint thinner, etc. away from the combustion air intake! anything containing chlorides can be a boiler-killer!--nbc
@ July 26, 2010 9:14 AM in Just bought a THERMAL IMAGING camera...pictures by someone else of a gravely garden tractor--nbc
@ July 23, 2010 12:12 AM in Safe distance from steam pipe to wall?now may be too hot to make a real test of this system, and what exactly would that test consist off?-nbc
@ June 30, 2010 8:44 AM in thermostate temp increasing but A/C unit blowing cool airsomehow the anticipator must be heating things up, as the system is calling for A/C. switching the thermostat faces is a good idea, as well as double checking the wiring at the thermostat, and the air-handler.-nbc
@ June 29, 2010 8:58 AM in Supplier & MFG. of Best Quality Steam Vents and Cast Iron Radiatorswhat type of steam system do you have, 1-pipe, or 2-pipe?
the best air vents, are the ones on the main pipes, which do most of the work. small gorton or hoffman vents will then let the air out of the radiator, after the main vents have released air from the main supply pipes, and the boiler itself.
get a copy of "the lost art of steam heating" from the shop here, so you will be better able to understand how these wonderful systems should work.--nbc
@ May 10, 2010 6:19 PM in 5 zone system with small zone valvesthere has been a lot of discussion here about setback, and economy of running. the prevailing theory seems to be that the fuel used coming out of a setback of more than 3 degrees would be the same as maintaining a constant temperature [unless for many days].
the modulating burner, controlled by pressure, would enable the system to compensate for varying zone operation. maybe some sort of thermostatic valves on the radiators would do better than the present setup.--nbc
@ May 5, 2010 5:56 AM in Winterization - De-Winterizationwere the leads removed to keep the system from firing, after being drained? surely the lwco would suffice to prevent firing. any competent technician would have put them in a safe place, or not removed them at all. perhaps the tech wanted to immobilize the system due to some hazardous fault. ask if they have a record of the last service and what was done.
just tell the service company that if they are interested in your business in the future, that you require an explanation of these missing parts.
have you filled the system to verify that no freeze damage exists?--nbc
@ May 2, 2010 1:42 AM in Safety Failed - what a messwhatever you are doing, the importance of working safety devices should be in everyones' mind. whether you are drilling for oil, or managing your boiler--keep an eye on the safeties!--nbc
@ April 30, 2010 11:14 AM in Manufacturing steam boiler.those several pressure controls were probably for a "mod-u-pack" burner staging system, which is probably not needed in this application.
i would find out the pressure requirements for the process using the steam, and perhaps restrict it to low fire for economy.
maintenance should be more frequent because of the constant addition of fresh water, introducing more solids into the boiler [hence the clogged pigtail]. blowing down the boiler drain should be once a month minimum, with perhaps removing the plug in the mud leg area for inspection, and cleaning.
as far as piping goes, if the steam is as dry as they need, with no noise, then i suppose dumn luck has protected them.
it does seem a waste to keep the boiler on when it is not needed; especially as it can steam from cold in 20-30 min.--nbc
@ April 30, 2010 10:59 AM in skim a boiler after new installgenerally the mfg will have some very specific instructions as to skimming, which should be followed in order to keep the warranty intact.
for instance Peerless recommend simmering a solution of arm&hammer washing soda in the boiler, before skimming. the presence of a large diameter skimming port makes it more effective, but it is always time-consuming.--nbc
@ April 29, 2010 2:40 PM in pipe siphonsthere are some here:
and elsewhere on the wall.--nbc
@ April 22, 2010 6:24 PM in sizing boiler for brewerya few thoughts:
why not go to the boiler mfg's website, and check on the water volume of that 300k boiler. there should also be a way of calculating how quickly it can boil that quantity of water. pumping boiling water has some challenges as well. if you could post the pipe layout, and other details, that would help too.--nbc
@ April 22, 2010 5:52 PM in STEAM RADIATOR SERVICE VALVESi also meant to emphasize the importance of the installer following the boiler mfg's installation instructions, especially pipe layout and sizes. sounds simple, but so many problems seen here are the result of not doing so!!!--nbc
@ April 22, 2010 9:13 AM in gorton #2 needed some coaxing....i wonder if they use some sort of waxy protectant, which has to soften with heat to work smoothly. that would explain the initial stickiness.
is this project worthy of pictures and explanation? if so please post them here. before and after stories illustrate how a seemingly impossible situation can be improved bit by bit. maybe this is br. mariano's friary.--nbc
@ April 21, 2010 9:04 AM in How to dissasemble radiatori think that changing the height of the air vent could down-rate the capacity of the rad, by virtue of the fact that the steam is lighter than air [hope I've got that right]. if more air remains inside the radiator because of the different vent height, then it would radiate less heat.
alternatively, a TRV could moderate the output, or an attractive old carpet, draped over could cut the radiation.--nbc
@ April 20, 2010 1:48 PM in STEAM RADIATOR SERVICE VALVESthere are some excellent books on steam heating in the shop here, and i suggest that you get them all, and maybe some for your installer, who is i hope an experienced "steam mechanic" and not merely the lowest bidder! what is your location?
while you are at these repairs:
1. pay attention to maintaining the lowest steam pressure you can. some systems need only 2 ounces. a good low pressure gauge is a necessity [gaugestore.com--0-2 psi]. a vaporstat will also be of great benefit in maintaining these low pressures.
2.make sure the air can get out as the steam rises. this is the main venting, and on you 2-pipe system, can take several forms, and the books will explain.
3.take some pictures of your present boiler, and piping so that if there are any problems with the present installation, our various steam experts may see it before the installers leave.
4. investigate the possibility that you may have a 2-stage burner [hi-lo-hi]. making that work properly may save lots of fuel.
5. pay attention to the control system, as i am sure that you will probably not have a simple thermostat. various means are available, which rely on outside temperature to control the boiler.--nbc
@ April 20, 2010 12:59 AM in steam downsizing?when you give him the proposal for the 2 systems, also give him a proposal for making what is there work as it should.
when you say the apts are small, then that means small rents as well. if he is not willing to spend money on asbestos remediation, then i see him having trouble with 2 separate steam systems, being paid off with 2 small rents. if he can see that his fuel bills may have been twice as much as they should be, he is more likely to fix what is there.--nbc
@ April 20, 2010 12:51 AM in geothermal happenings in my hometownslowly but surely people are getting interested in geothermal in my neck of the woods, even though the incentives will probably not cover the increased cost.--nbc